… Says they are still in transit, neglected as people
By Ike Uchechukwu
Bakassi Local Government Area Executive Chairman Hon Iyadim Amboni Iyadim has called on the federal government to return the 76 oil wells ceded to Akwa Ibom state or to establish its people appropriately.
Iyadim also claimed that he does not understand why Bakassi was ceded so quickly, adding that what happened in 2003 has never happened anywhere in the world, citing the cases of the United States and Mexico, among others.
Iyadim made the call during the Thanksgiving / 100 Days in Office ceremony at the Bakassi Council headquarters in Ekpri Ikang on Thursday.
He said it was regrettable that the people of Bakassi were still displaced, abandoned and in transit 23 years after the cession of their territory to Cameroon.
He noted that the incalculable hardships caused by the loss of their heritage and land were irreparable, adding that the loss of 76 oil wells at Akwa Ibom has not only deepened the sufferings of the people of Bakassi alone, but of Cross River in its set.
His words: “We want to recover our 76 oil wells. We have lost everything, how come we lost our territory and still our oil wells were turned over to Akwa Ibom? We can barely pay the workers.
“The people of Bakassi have been abandoned, neglected and have been in transit for more than 20 years, we have suffered a lot because we lost those oil wells and our territory dies to the national interest.
“The federal government should either settle the people of Bakassi properly or return our 76 oil wells, we have suffered enough for the collective interest of this country and yet we have nothing to show for it.
“In all similar cases like the non has been granted as hastily as Bakassi, our land was hastily handed over in a political way, they should return our territory or settle as agreed,” Iyadim lamented.
Speaking further, the president called on the state government to urgently comply with the agreement he signed with the former agitators under the auspices of the Bakassi Strike Force’BSF.
“Until now, the ex-agitators have not been rehabilitated and this is a very big challenge, the government must comply with the agreement it signed when they laid down their arms and embraced peace,” he said.